When was the last time your business or organization updated its marketing collateral? If you have an active marketing department, it’s most likely planned out very well. If you run a small business or the like, it may have been a while since you’ve put the time, energy and money into bringing your logos, print materials and online assets current.
It is also very likely that, since your current materials were designed, developed and implemented, your company has updated bits and pieces of graphics and even added some new elements. If not done carefully and with consideration of your existing collateral, those updates can begin to create inconsistency in both the company image and even its message. This can be deadly in the business arena as current and potential clients are looking for partners they can depend on.
There are several reasons inconsistencies in your marketing can derail a business on the track to success.
If a company or non-profit uses materials with different versions of their logo and even widely varying design schemes without specific purposes, potential clients can get confused about who they are looking at. For example, a small business uses business cards with an original logo and more recent brochures with an updated logo that perhaps even has a variation in the company name. This can communicate to a prospective customer that the business doesn’t really have their act together, or that they don’t have a clear sense of what the business actually does or offers them as a consumer.
In today’s world of corporate excellence and not so professional amateur entrepreneurs, continuity in marketing speaks volumes to a company’s standard of quality. Remember, first impressions are everything. If a business puts the time and resources into a clean, professional presentation, it’s more likely that they approach their products, services, and even customer relations with the same level of excellence.
Here’s one last thing to keep in mind when evaluating the state of your marketing collateral. Even if your materials are consistent, if it’s been a while since you’ve updated them it may be time to revamp or “modernize” your graphics and verbiage. Update your business cards, stationery, brochures, one-sheeters, trade show displays, and especially your web site. You may even want to consider updating your logo.
There are multiple factors that play into the timeline for marketing makeovers. Your specific industry, the types of products and services you offer, and your target audience are but a few. You may need to keep your web site up to date on a day-to-day, weekly or monthly basis if you’re in the news or magazine business. You may decide to update all of your marketing collateral annually if your products and pricing changes from year to year. Organizations and companies whose business never really changes all that much may choose a 2 to 3 year schedule just to keep a fresh face on things.
Keeping your marketing fresh let’s your potential and existing customers know that your business or organization is growing and staying current.
No matter what your business is, how small or big a company you run, one rule of thumb remains the same. Have a plan in place. If you don’t have a plan, schedule time to meet with a marketing consultant to assess the situation and form a game plan. And yes, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Corduroy Beach just so happens to offer marketing consultation, as well as a full array of marketing services.